Spotlight and excerpt: The Learn

The Learn


Tony Halker


Blending reality, history and legend, about a time when women were considered as important as men, taking power in an oral society that worships the Goddess. A whole Celtic Druid world is laid out before us, incorporating beliefs, technology and the natural environment.

A Celtic boy, a beach scavenger, is pledged to the Learn, a life of endurance, a path to become sworn Druid: scholar and warrior.  Young women and men progress, becoming Priests and Druidii. Friendship, affection, passion and care develop as novices mature, confidence emerging.
Seasonal battles of winter and summer bring rich festivals when seeds of men are taken by women in pleasure to prove fertility. Small damaged, hurt peoples on the margins of Celtic society blend in and out of vision.

At frontiers with Nature, dependent for everything on what the earth gives or takes, an emotional response to the natural environment defines who people are and the values they live by.
A lyrical novel resonating with modern readers through portrayal of character, language and history; arising from a landscape of today, yet centred in the Celtic Bronze Age of North Wales.

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Page 38 – These small part paragraphs both describe a particular man, comparing him, showing why he is different in character and manner from what is expected of an oathed Druid. He is Haron, a powerful Druid of the Iceni.

Owayne senses something hard and soft about this man; all Druidii are tough toned, trained for fortitude, for endurance, they shun comfort and are dressed and adorned for the Deities only as a mark of respect, to show they are enduring despite their knowledge of softness and beauty. This man moves differently as though he wishes people to note his movement, he is a forest cat, he has the grace of a night dancer with sinuosity, not the hard toned, jerky alert movements of Druid warriors; Owayne senses he likes his gold adornments, likes the soft furs at his arms, does not disdain them for his own pleasure. It is the furs that are unusual; generally it is high clan lords and the old who wear rich fur, then only in deep winter…..

Haron plays this silence, does not fill it immediately, he says nothing looking around catching eyes directly with his own; when he has all attention he waits further. Owayne like all of the others is now anticipating, waiting, wanting to hear what is said

Tony Halker

About Tony Halker

Born in London, Tony Halker studied geology at Leeds University after which he worked as a geologist, travelling extensively overseas. Following an MBA at Cranfield School of Management, he became a manager in hi-tec business and later a businessman and entrepreneur. His writing is inspired by powerful natural landscapes and his interest in the people and technologies emerging from those hard places. His two daughters were born in North Wales. He lives with his wife there and in Hertfordshire.


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